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Leonor Silveira Valenzuela


1953 - 2010 Obituary Condolences
Leonor Silveira Valenzuela Obituary
LEONOR SILVEIRA VALENZUELA October 22, 1953 - May 2, 2010

Our Lord, seeing her pain, took her in His arms and took her to the arms of her beloved Papa.

Although her parents had been living in Arizona since the early 1940's, fate would have her born on October 22, 1953 in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico. The fact that she was born in Mexico was a point of great pride for her. Leonor was forever proud of her heritage and culture, thereby honoring her parents, Antonio M. and Romana S. Valenzuela, who often emphasized pride in their Mexican heritage to all their children.

Leonor is survived by her loving husband, Juan A. Zertuche of Paradise; her mother, Romana S. Valenzuela of Douglas, AZ; three brothers, Tony and Frank Valenzuela of Douglas, AZ and Jimmy Valenzuela of Tucson; eight nieces and nephews and numerous great-nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her father, Antonio McGrew Valenzuela, who passed on when Leonor was 17 years old, and a baby sister, Ana Maria Valenzuela.

She graduated CSU, Chico, class of 1978 with a B.A. in Social Welfare.

Leonor was employed in the public sector all of her professional career, leaving a legacy of many individuals who she personally helped to better their lives. Her illustrious professional career began in 1974 when she worked for California Mini-Corps, CSU, Chico, as a simultaneous translator (Spanish/English). In 1979 she took a position as an Employment and Training Specialist, with the National Council of La Raza (NCLR) in Washington, D.C. While at NCLR she traveled regularly to Houston, TX and Denver, CO monitoring non-profit programs funded by public and private grants obtained through NCLR. In 1980 she worked in Sacramento for Urban Management Consultants as a Trainer/Counselor. In 1983 Leonor was Executive Director of the Concilio Mexicano de Chico, Inc. where she managed and directed a non-profit organization that provided bilingual services to a multi-county area. In 1984 Leonor went to work for Butte County Mental Health as an Administrative Services Assistant/Staff Services Specialist. In this position she was responsible for the development and control of mental health and alcohol/drug abuse services and H.E.R.E. Project budgets. In 1998 Leonor worked as a Supervising Mental Health Counselor. In 1992, on her own time, Leonor created and implemented the Latino Youth Leadership Conference that provided an annual two day conference, from 1992 to 2002, for area youth, with emphasis to motivate and inspire Latino youth to make the most of the educational and vocational opportunities available to them.

Leonor's passing leaves many broken hearts as her loving/thoughtful ways and generosity were not limited to her family members, but also included whomever she felt needed her time, attention and/or financial help. She touched so many people in so many ways; always giving one hope. Our lives have all been altered. It is so difficult to fathom life without her in our midst.

A quote by John Wesley is so appropriate for her; "Do all the good you can, by all the means you can, in all the ways you can, in all the places you can, at all the times you can, to all the people you can, as long as ever you can."

Rest in Peace our beautiful wife, daughter, sister, "Nina", aunt, great-aunt, dear & true friend, mentor, and strong Latina role model to all who knew her.
Published in Chico Enterprise-Record on May 13, 2010
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